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this look for it on tomorrow's program. see you on "o'reilly" tonight. good night, america. [captioning made possible by fox news channel] captioned by the national captioning institute ---www.ncicap.org--- bret: next on "special report, " bill clinton is expected to leave north korea with the two journalists who have been sentenced to ten years. now the cash for clunkers program, does the president want to take away your employer-provided health insurance? we report. you decide, and the push to do something about a dangerous trend that could be more deadly than drunken driving. all that, plus the fox all-stars, right here, right now. >> welcome to washington. i'm bret baier. former president bill clinton's surprise trip to north korea has resulted in
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the pardon of two journalists convicted of crimes against the communist nation. laura ling and union that ling had -- and euna lee had been sentenced to ten years of hard labor. instead, they are expected to get a ride home with bill clinton in comfort. >> u.s. officials said the plan to have former president bill clinton secure the release of the two american journalists was negotiated before he landed, and at the airport, he was greeted by north korea's top leaders, including its lead nuclear negotiator, but the white house insisted this was a private visit by the former president, and that he was not carrying any message from president obama. >> our focus right now is in insuring that the safety of two journalists that are in north korea right now. thaw is not how north korea's state-unnews agency characterized the visit, which included a dinner meeting with
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kim jung il. at the meeting place, bill clinton resphectsfully delivered barack obama's message to kim jung il. >> mr. clinton is the first high-level american to meet kim sing the north korean leader reportedly had a stroke last august, providing the dictator was a badly needed propaganda victory, according to former u.n. ambassador john bolton. >> obviously bringing a former president to north korea is a lifeline of legitimacy for kim jung il's regime and other owing states are watching this very -- other rogue states are watching this carefully to our detriment. bringing in somebody like president clinton who was deeply involved in dealing with north korea on its nuclear weapons program during his presidency hopelessly confuses those issues and gives kim jong il a leg up at a time when the regime is under a lot of pressure. laura ling and union that lee were working for al gore's current t.v. when they were taken in march and sentenced
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to 20 years hard labor. kim jung il ordered the two women pardoned during bill clinton's visit after his wife, the secretary of state, asked for amnesty. >> the two families expressed great remorse for this incident. i think everyone is very sorry that it happened. >> the north korean news agency, the official state news agency, has reported that the plane has already taken off and that clinton's party has left. however, the original flight plan had clinton's plane leaving between 7:00 eastern and 8:00 p.m. eastern. it is scheduled to make two refueling stops on the way home. bret: jennifer griffin live at the pentagon. the effort to put more fuel in the pipeline of the administration's cash for clunkers program seems to be be heading toward the finish line. senate leaders say they expect to see the checkered flag before leaving for vacation. major garrett has an update. >> after serenading president
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obama with the course of happy birthday, democratic senators emerged from the white house confident that cash t cash for clunkers program will keep on keeping on. >> cash for clunkers, you will pass cash for clunkers. when will you do that? >> before we leave her. >> the senate clock strikes midnight friday and then it is a month-long recess. lawmakers from michigan who call cash for clunkers an economic lifeline say the things look good to siphon $2 million -- $2 billion to keep it going. >> it looks very strong, because we're hearing from dealers and consumers across the country that this is a stimulus that is working. >> four of the top sellers are japanese models, camry's prius and honda's civic, and the only u.s. model, the top seller of all is the ford focus. the white house says it's satisfied that u.s. automakers account for 47% of clunker sales. >> people are making decisions to buy cars for the first time in a long time. >> the original cash for
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clunkers legislation banned cash discounts for cars built outside the u.s., and offered bigger discounts for cars built hereen than in mexico or canada. that language was dropped with white house approval. >> it is interesting to note that the big three automakers have been represented well in this program, because they're building cars that americans want to buy. >> the buy america language, some feared, would violate free trade deals. >> i would love to add a buy american provision. i would love to add a buy michigan provision, but the reality is that we would be violating trade laws. we would be challenged and possibly the program couldn't go forward. >> top station officials say $2 billion from the taxpayers will keep cash for clunkers rolling through labor day. originally $1 billion was supposed to last through november, but that allocation dried up in a week, prompting the senate's rush to redirect stimulus dollars. >> we not discontinuing the program. we have enough money to continue. we encourage people to go into
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showrooms. this is a wildly popular program. >> republicans won't block the extra clunker cash, but some still protest artificially boosting car sales. >> why not an increase in demand for boats? how about r.v.'s? how about refrigerators. they are more efficient. >> there is nothing in the pipeline for refrigerators, at least not yet. the tans pore tation department says today 157,000 applications have been received and they plowing through many more on-line receipts or requests for more assistance. glenn: cash for fridges just doesn't sound the same. all right, major, thanks. there was more positive economic news today. consumer spending increased by 4/10's of a percentage point in june, better than expected and the second straight month of increase, and pending home sales rose for the fifth month in a a row. 3.6% gain was far better than
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analysts predicted. stocks were up again today. the dow gained 33. the s&p 500 picked up 3. the nasdaq rose 2. the numbers on the president's mortgage assistance program, however, continue to be dismal. fox business network correspondent peter barns is here to tell us how few distressed homeowners are really being helped. >> less than 10% of what the administration promised. as you recall, this was the $75 billion foreclosure prevention plan that the administration announced back in february and said it could help up to $3 -- up to 3 to 4 million struggling homeowners. now we have this report card from the treasury department. it said that 2.7 million homeowners are eligible for modifications to reduce monthly payments and said banks and mortgage servicers have offered to modify 400,000 of those, 15% in total, but only 235,000 of those have been approved for trial modifications, just 9%.
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the administration and the companies agree it took time to ramp this program up, and more needs to be done and more will be done, they said. bret: we have getting details of a private meeting with treasury secretary tim geithner last week with bank regulators t seems like the treasury secretary got a little hot under the collar. what happened? >> our colleagues at "the wall street journal" reported on a big meeting friday between geithner and ben bernanke and bank regulators over the administration's proposal for regulatory reform of the financial market. the journal is reporting that secretary geithner used expletives in this meeting. we're not going to put them on a full screen like we did with those numbers. now, remember, bernanke and the others here are supposed to be allies with the administration in reforming the financial markets and new regulation, but they have been publicly disagreeing with pieces of the plan, so the treasury secretary said, hey, enough is enough. stop it, and one of the regulators who was in the meeting confirmed today
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that -- confirmed the story but called the meeting candid. that's the strongest word he would use. >> candid and frank. that's always good. peter, thanks. while the house is on vacation and the senate prepares to go, we will tell you who is looking over their shoulder at ethics investigators as lawmakers in d.c. keep up the push for a healthcare bill. to stay in tune with life after 50,
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bret: senate democratic leaders are promising to get a bill passed and to the president sometime this year. the differences remain over what to put in it and how to get it past opposition democrats and some republicans. james rosen reports from capitol hill. >> emerging from their white house strategy luncheon, senate democrats vowed to take a bipartisan road on healthcare reform, but only up to a point. >> we don't want to do a partisan bill. we hope our republican colleagues acknowledge that. we will continue to work with them as long as we have to. >> senate republicans shot
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back that the democrats face equal trouble from within their own ranks. >> there is a major overhaul of 1/6 of our economy is not likely to enjoy anything but bipartisan opposition. >> prompting these renewed fears about a breakdown in bipartisanship were remarks by charles schumer of new york who threatened the use of arcane parliamentary tactics to bypass a potential g.o.p. filibuster and secure final passage on a simple majority vote. >> these plans will likely be considered only as a last resort, but make no mistake about it. they remain on the table. no matter what happens, we're going to enact healthcare reform by the end of the year." the tactic is known as reconciliation. it is used only for budget bills as a matter of law to obtain budget deaf sitd reduction. to use it on healthcare, it means the democrats would like to break it up into two votes and the ranking republican told fox news there will be a showdown with the g.o.p. >> they got 60 votes for the
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healthcare policy, which would be things like, the exchange, things like even the public options, that would have to get 60 votes. >> with the house now in recess, nancy pelosi attended a healthcare event in san francisco, but was dogged by a democratic party feud from back east over compromises that one of her top lieutenants, energy committee chairman henry waxman made last week on healthcare reform with fiscally conservative blue dog democrats on the panel. 62 democrats on the progressive caucus wrote today vowing to fight waxman's measure, saying our continued support is contingent on a robust public plan, similar to what was reported out of the committees on ways and means an education and labor." they wrote "furthermore, the bills must be restored, and the final bill brought to the house floor must include these house provisions or we will oppose the bill. " but the nation's ongoing economic recession threatens to torpedo any meaningful
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healthcare industry reform. an associated press study of income tax revenues finds this year shaping up to be the worst since the great depression year of 1932, with uncle sam's total tax receipts projected to decline by 18%. bret: james rosen live on capitol hill. wisconsin democratic congressman steve kagan got an earful during a town hall meeting in green bay monday night. an overflow kraut voiced strong opposition to current plans for healthcare reform. here is a sample of how things went. >> no healthcare bill! no healthcare bill! >> the green bay gazette reports, quote, the event were a shouting match. the mob one. kagen tried to talk about the healthcare bill but the roaring crowd deafened his attempts. several elderly people grimaced at the level of
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noise." you can see there and throughout the country, many people oppose healthcare reform because of a belief that it gives the government too much power. there are those who think current proposals do not go far enough, however. liberals and others want the government to run almost everything. correspondent molly hennenberg shows us how the war is being waged over a single-payer system. >> it's a battle of the vidio clips. today, this salvo from linda douglas of the white house who office of health reform. >> the people who always try to scare people whenever you try to bring them health insurance reform at it again. >> douglas was responding to a link on the drudge report that connects to a youtube sid yo showing president obama talking about healthcare. >> i don't think we will eliminate employer coverage immediately. there will be a transition process. i can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out. >> the white house refuted the staple but said overall the clips were taken out of context.
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>> they take a phrase here and there and cherry pick and put it together and make it sound like he's saying something that he didn't really say. >> to give the full context, then senator obama goes on to say he favors a, quote, federal system or state pool for workers to opt

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Special Report With Bret Baier
FOX News August 4, 2009 6:00pm-6:17pm EDT

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway. New.

program was likely cut short due to a recording issue

TOPIC FREQUENCY North Korea 6, U.s. 4, Bill Clinton 4, Obama 2, Rosen 2, Laura Ling 2, Kim Jung 2, Clinton 2, Michigan 2, America 2, The Treasury 1, Grimaced 1, John Bolton 1, Bernanke 1, Camry 1, Bill Clinton Resphectsfully 1, U.n. 1, Pentagon 1, Honda 1, R.v. 1
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